Why Is the Necessary and Proper Clause Important?

The Necessary and Proper Clause is important because it affords Congress certain powers under the Constitution. The Necessary and Proper Clause, which is listed as Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, grants Congress the authority to establish certain financial procedures, such as tax collection and imposing debts and penalties. This clause spans the length of 17 paragraphs, which explain in detail the powers that Congress has.

At the most basic level, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the right to create laws that govern citizens in the United States. Congress shares the responsibility of enacting laws with the two other branches of government, the legislative branch and the judicial branch, although the powers afforded to each branch of government vary widely. In addition to granting Congress the power to impose and collect taxes, the Necessary and Proper Clause allows Congress to impose duties and excises, regulate foreign trade among states as well as internationally, borrow money for the U.S., and establish a military to provide for the safety and security of the American public.

While the Necessary and Proper Clause identifies some specific rights of Congress, it is vague on other areas of legislation. Historically this has caused controversy and confusion about whether Congress has the power to regulate in areas not specifically enumerated in the clause.